Impacts of climate change and climate variability on the competitiveness of wheat and beef cattle production in Emerald, north-east Australia

Howden, S.M., McKeon, G.M., Meinke, H., Entel, M. and Flood, N. (2001) Impacts of climate change and climate variability on the competitiveness of wheat and beef cattle production in Emerald, north-east Australia. Environment International, 27 2-3: 155-160. doi:10.1016/S0160-4120(01)00076-9


Author Howden, S.M.
McKeon, G.M.
Meinke, H.
Entel, M.
Flood, N.
Title Impacts of climate change and climate variability on the competitiveness of wheat and beef cattle production in Emerald, north-east Australia
Journal name Environment International   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0160-4120
1873-6750
Publication date 2001-09-01
Year available 2001
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/S0160-4120(01)00076-9
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 27
Issue 2-3
Start page 155
End page 160
Total pages 6
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Emerald, north-east Queensland, is at the northern margin of the wheat cropping region of Australia. The Emerald region was previously used predominantly for grazing beef cattle, however, cropping has developed in importance over the past 30 years. We use historical climate records (1890–1998) to simulate and compare wheat yields, grass production and liveweight gain (LWG) over time. The cropping expansion from the 1970s to the early 1990s has occurred in a unique period in the 108-year record with the highest average wheat yields, lowest wheat yield variability and the greatest relative productivity of wheat production against grass production. If this window of opportunity is a result of long-term climate variability, then cropping is likely to decline in the region as conditions return to those experienced earlier in the record. If this increase is related to climate change, then cropping is likely to persist in the region with productivity maintained at current levels particularly through the yield-enhancing effects of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations. However, this persistence will be influenced by the frequencies of El Niño conditions which may increase with global warming. The high relative productivities experienced over the past few decades have probably biased producers, expectations, and applications for drought support need to take into account the longer-term perspective provided by this analysis. Nevertheless, the last six years have the lowest simulated mean LWG production on the record. The identification of poor production periods depended on the production element being addressed and the timescale involved.
Keyword Australia
Carbon dioxide
Cattle
Change
Climate
Land use
Variability
Wheat
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 09:52:02 EST by Neil Flood on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)